Thursday January 8th, 2015

Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas dismissed questions about his toughness after battling an ankle injury this season, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post reports.

Thomas injured his ankle in Week 11 against the Rams and had just three catches the rest of the season. He missed three games with the injury before returning in Week 15.

Thomas, who played basketball for Portland State in college, said he is tired of people citing that as a reason for his slow return from the injury.

“Somebody who doesn’t know me very well, or doesn’t know what I do in my rehab, might say: ‘Oh, you played basketball. You’re not very good about fighting through injury.’ That’s their opinion. People can feel however they want about me. But I know. People always ask me, ‘How is the league?’ Well, everybody is going to pat you on the back when things are going well, and then they are going to be the same people who want your [butt] out of there.”

• BURKE: Why your favorite team won't win Super Bowl XLIX

Thomas, 26, caught 43 passes for 489 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, but the tight end caught only five passes for 66 yards in the final seven weeks of the season, The Broncos received a first-round bye after finishing as the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

He will play in this Sunday's second round game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Broncos and Colts will kick off at 4:40 p.m. ET.

• THAMEL: Stronger, wiser Gronko could be key to Pats' playoff run

- Brad Rowland

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